How California’s drought affects the country’s supply of fruits and vegetables


Having to take shorter showers and conserve water isn’t the only thing we’ll need to worry about with the drought currently plaguing California. The lack of water will also have an effect on the availability and price of the fruits and vegetables we eat every day, if it hasn’t already.

And the amount of water it takes to produce just one vegetable is alarming. Mother Jones recently released an infographic showing how much water certain fruits and vegetables require to grow to maturity.

A head of broccoli requires 5.4 gallons of water, one walnut will take 4.9 gallons, a head of lettuce requires 3.5 gallons, one tomato will need 3.3 gallons and a single almond needs 1.1 gallons.


The nonprofit news organization also released a graphic that shows how much of the country’s supply of fruits and vegetables comes from California. Turns out, 99% of the country’s walnuts and almonds are grown here.

In addition, 98% of pistachios, 95% of broccoli, 92% of strawberries, 91% of grapes, 90% of tomatoes and 74% of lettuce for the entire country are grown in the state.

It also details which California cities are using the most water for nonagricultural purposes. Using data from the California Department of Water Resources Urban Management Plan, 19 cities were ranked by per capita water usage. Palm Springs uses the most water, while San Francisco uses the least on the list. Los Angeles was ranked No. 12.

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